March 10, 2019
In a move that will likely lead to another tense standoff with congressional Democrats, President Trump is expected to request $8.6 billion in additional funds for the construction of his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, a senior administration official told CBS News.
Trump to make $8.6 billion wall demand, triggering new standoff with Congress
In its annual budget proposal to Congress, to officially be unveiled Monday, the White House will seek congressional approval of $5 billion in funding for Department of Homeland Security efforts designed to build sections of the wall, as well as $3.6 billion funds for Department of Defense construction projects along the border, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the budget had not yet been made public.
Together with the $8.1 billion border barrier funding the administration has already secured through congressional legislation and reprogrammed funds, the $8.6 billion demand would allow the government to construct 722 miles of wall along the southwestern border, the official said.
Like the president's previous multi-billion dollar requests for border security and wall funds — including the $5.7 billion demand that fueled the longest government shutdown in U.S. history — the White House's new proposal will surely be met with strong opposition from Democrats, who now control the House of Representatives.
In a joint statement Sunday afternoon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York reminded the president of the time he "hurt millions of Americans and caused widespread chaos" when he refused to back off his $5.7 billion border wall funding demand, urging him to increase spending on education and workforce development instead.
"Congress refused to fund his wall and he was forced to admit defeat and reopen the government," Pelosi and Schumer wrote. "The same thing will repeat itself if he tries this again. We hope he learned his lesson."
The administration official told CBS News that the budget proposal will also include a $3.6 billion request to pay back the military construction funds the president plans to divert through his controversial national emergency declaration, which is being challenged in court by multistate lawsuits and in Congress by a resolution of disapproval that passed the House and will be voted on by senators this week.
The budget request, according to the official, will also ask for a 5 percent cut to non-military discretionary spending.
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